Hosea (History 9-Judges)

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Sung Psalm 14  Read (later) Judges 19:22-30.

Looking through the book of Judges we can see that Hosea could have used many historical references to expose the sins of his audience in the Northern Kingdom. For example the sins of the Israelites then included not conquering all the people of the land (ch.1), making a league with the Canaanites(ch.2), marrying and following their gods (3:6-7, 2:11,13, 10:6), cowardice (chs 4-5), Abimelech who followed Baal of the covenant (ch.9) and Micah who made his son and a Levite priests (ch.17). But what did he choose to confront the Israel of his day? Answer Gibeah (9:9 and 10:9). The deep corruption of his day, he likens to and illustrates by the desire for sodomite gang rape, subsequent heterosexual gang rape and murder and final dismemberment of the concubine and the sending of the parts throughout Israel of Judges 19. Gibeah had become proverbial of flagrant sin and occurred not long after the people entered the promised land because Phineas the grandson of Aaron appeared to be the spiritual leader (this was around 1400B.C.) almost 700 years earlier. The result was that the people of Israel (equivalent to a synod) decided on battle (church discipline) and despite early reverses in which 40,000 were killed they eventually virtually wiped out (excommunicated) the tribe of Benjamin (which included Gibeah) and the “there they stood” (10:9) refers to the 600 Benjamites who survived as the only representatives of their tribe. All in all an extremely sad, sordid, unsavoury and terribly wicked event in Israel’s history. Hosea accuses the people of continuing this sinful depravity down the centuries since then. Of course we see a similar societal degradation today especially in the Western world.

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